Bowen this week: May 8

Here are just some of this week's headlines: health centre, will-they-won't-they bus drama and the Undercurrent's looking for silver linings

Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen: Our spate of warm and sunny weather looks like it’s going to continue until at least Tuesday with weekend highs of 28 and 27 C.


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Environment Canada's seven-day forecast
Environment Canada seven-day forecast for Squamish. - Environment Canada


But if you had errands in the cove in mind Saturday, it might be an idea to sleep in instead. Due to line painting, parking in the cove is prohibited between 5 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, May 8.  Any cars parked on Bowen Island Trunk Road, Cardena Drive and Dorman Road after 5 a.m. will be towed.

Looking over the past week:

Last weekend Bowen Island Health Centre Foundation announced that it has raised $2.7 million in the first months of 2020. Buoyed by this news, islanders donated a further $30,500 last weekend alone.

Bowen’s farmers market is returning May 16 but it’s going to look a little different. Customers will shop online before 3 p.m. Fridays and then pick-up their goods made, grown and baked on Bowen at Orbaek (formerly known as Meadowbrook) Saturday mornings.

After TransLink announced it was suspending service on Bowen as of May 2, Bowen Island Transportation Society shifted into high gear, and a bus was waiting at the corner of Windjammer and Spyglass to pick up commuters Monday morning.

However, TransLink announced May 8 that after talks with the province, it was rescinding 1,500 layoff notices and un-suspending some of its services. While it was initially unclear how this would affect Bowen, a post in Bowen Island Commuters Facebook group Friday afternoon from First Transit’s Bowen Island Community Shuttle general manager Kiel Magis says that Bowen’s regular service is restored as of May 11. “We apologize for the stress this may have caused many residents on the island,” said the post.


Zoom Zoom Bowen announced that it’s now renting scooters to essential service workers for reduced rates.

After TransLink said it was suspending Bowen’s service, BIM reached out to Zoom Zoom’s owner Jamie Woodall.

Woodall’s offering two-week or month-long rentals––$150 for a month, equivalent to less than two days of regular summer rental.

“It just made sense to be of service to the community and then to have the bikes on the road again,” said Woodall. “It's great to part of the solution during COVID. You know, to feel like you can offer something that's of use to someone.”

Woodall has seven bikes to rent, though she says BIM has a list of priority essential service workers. Those interested can get in touch with Woodall by emailing


From the Emergency Operations Centre May 8 Update:

The basketball court, tennis courts and fields at Bowen Island Community School are reopening. The EOC said in its weekly newsletter that there will be signage as to how to safely use these facilities. The public fountain and washroom will remain closed.

The EOC also said that it had contacted any accommodation providers who were showing availabilities before May 25 and asked them to not make their accommodations available to non-essential visits.

See the mayor’s message:


This week’s essential or front line worker of the week: Chris Leigh of Leigh Automotive


Chris Leigh standing in front of his shop
Source: Undercurrent


Who are the heroes in your life? Nominate a front-line worker:

A couple of weeks ago we announced that an anonymous donor came forward with a proposition to recognize some of Bowen’s front-line and essential service workers. The idea is that people nominate those who are in the public sphere, continuing to do their jobs to keep our society functioning during the pandemic. These can be paid workers or volunteers. 

Once a week for a total of five weeks (we’re on week two now)  we’re drawing at random someone who works in the public sphere. This person will receive $100 to recognize their service to the community and society. (This money is coming from the donor, not the Undercurrent!)

So far, we’ve received 82 nominations, but it’s not too late! There are three more weeks of this, so please send in your nominees to Though we can’t recognize everyone with $100, I’ll do my best to publish as many notes that accompany the nominations as possible. The work you’re all doing is important and valued. 

As the anonymous donor puts it, “We see what you’re doing for us and we want to thank you.”

This week’s recognized person is Chris Leigh of Leigh automotive. Thank you and your team for your work during the pandemic Chris!

Looking forward to next week’s stories:  

The point of Dorman Point joins Crippen Park

Metro Vancouver Regional Parks bought 1.21 hectares (3 acres) of waterfront land at Dorman Point to add to Crippen Park. Coun. Maureen Nicholson, who sits on the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks board let islanders know of the purchase on Facebook Thursday. News of the purchase is in the board’s May 13 agenda package.

The staff report on the purchase says that the land was in foreclosure and Metro Parks paid $2.7 million for the property.

“The rock bluff waterfront, which is rare in the regional park system, has outcrops covered with mosses, ferns, and wildflowers, interspersed with wind-shaped Douglas fir, shore pine, and arbutus trees,” said the staff report. “A small accessible pebble beach is located on its north side, a rarity along this rocky shoreline.”

The federally protected Dorman Point Glass Sponge Reef is just off-shore of this parcel, said the report.

More to come on this.


BIM is now old hand at Zoom council meetings. On the agenda for Monday’s meeting is:

  • User rate increases for municipal water systems
  • An emergency program update
  • Amendment to the Official Community Plan to designate areas on Bowen where Temporary Use Permits are allowed.
  • Authorizing spending up to $15,000 on the alternate bus service (the BTS bus service) 
  • A letter from BC Ferries saying that it would gradually reopen its public washrooms in the cove: “…We reviewed the request and will be reopening the washrooms on a gradual basis starting this week during daylight hours only,” said the letter dated May 6 from regional manager Doug Hanning. “When all the local businesses shut down our washrooms essentially became the public washroom in the area. As a result, we saw an increase traffic to the facilities at a time where we were working hard to keep them sanitized for Covid-19 precautions. Unfortunately, this traffic also resulted vandalism and abuse on several occasions the nature of which caused us great concern. Without employees at the terminal it is a challenge to monitor the facility particularly in hours of darkness. Hopefully, the daylight hours will reduce these incidents.”


The Undercurrent is looking for silver linings!

Next week, thanks to a grant from the Bowen Island Community Foundation’s Resiliency Fund, the Undercurrent will be delivered to every household on Bowen Island. What would you like to see in it? Email

For this special edition, we’re looking for the silver linings of COVID, what’s the good that you’re seeing from and during COVID? We could all do with a little happy lining to this news cycle.

For a smile:

Speaking of happy, Bowen’s own clown, Paul Hooson, sent along this video from the Vancouver Theraputic Clowns, a program he founded back in 1994.

“Mirth Unit Therapeutic Clowns at BC Children’s Hospital sing a bathtub adaptation of ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight’ Featuring Melissa Aston-vocals and ukulele, Paul Hooson - vocals, harmonica, and bucket thing, Sand Northrup - vocals and guitar, Tamara Unroe - vocals, ukulele, and scrub a dubbing,” reads the video description.

This week’s Ron Woodall cartoon:

Cartoon of little dots on a hill
Source: Ron Woodall

This week’s (edited) editorial:

To the moms of the island and beyond, happy Mother’s Day.

I imagine moms have been working harder than ever during the pandemic caring for kids and loved ones physically and emotionally. Moms are holding hands, wiping away tears and telling their little (and not so little) ones it’s going to be all right, even as they watch their own worlds crumbling.

Everyone could use a hug and a steady shoulder these days, so let’s return the favour for our moms.

And when it comes to gifts, while many businesses have closed signs on their doors, some  are doing appointments and online sales so please look local. (See more on businesses’ adaptations here).

On another note, thank you to the many, many people who have stepped up to support the Undercurrent in recent weeks. We couldn’t keep going without you and we’re grateful for every donation, subscription and ad.

When I first slid into the editor’s chair two years ago I had no clue of the torrent of passion that drives every community endeavour on Bowen. For better or worse, I’ve felt the effects of some of this passion through my tenure, but to see it directed toward this newspaper’s survival is an experience I’ll always remember. Thank you.

Bronwyn Beairsto, editor


Don’t be afraid to be in touch! We love hearing from you! Email

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